Open Letter to WMAR-TV News

Dear WMAR-TV News:

(April 29, 2005) Minutes ago, Kimberly Bookman was on your 11:00 p.m. News--talking of the "ENORMITY" OF SELECTING A NEW POPE!

Excuse me, ENORMITY refers to WICKEDNESS.

Was WICKEDNESS what Kimberly Bookman intended when she LIKENED the alleged ENORMITY OF CHOOSING A NEW POPE with the alleged ENORMITY OF THE CROWDS IN ROME?

Did WMAR-TV intend to EDITORIALIZE that the crowds were VERY WICKED? IF SO, you really ought to have utilized a specifically EDITORIAL format.

On the other hand, you might have meant that the responsibility for selecting a new Pope was tremendous: the word is ENORMOUSNESS. Presumably, SOMEBODY at WMAR News is well-educated enough to know the difference.

You may have meant that the huge, gigantic mega-crowds were noteworthy for their ENORMOUSNESS.

Even if the reporter does not know the difference between "enormity" and "enormousness," she OUGHT TO RECOGNIZE THAT THERE LIKELY IS A DIFFERENCE. If only the staff of Channel 2 News had troubled to check the dictionary, the station would have appeared less contemptuous of the proceedings in Rome. In this case, GUESSING what the proper word is makes the coverage look extremely disrespectful.

Deborah Cunningham

Ms. Cunningham writes from Baltimore.

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This story was published on May 1, 2005.